When was the Integrated Practice Curriculum approved?
The Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC) was approved by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) on November 21, 2013, as part of the Pathways announcement. See also Lakehead's media release "Lakehead's Faculty of Law receives approval for Canada's first integrated Practice Curriculum".
I am one of your (Prospective) students and I still wish to article at a large firm. Can I still article?
Absolutely. You will graduate with your IPC as part of your JD and be eligible to write your bar exams after graduation, however you may wish to still article to have a more traditional law career pathway.
Having said that, you will be a much more valuable articling student because you have had the four-month Practice Placement experience, as well as skills training throughout the three year program. You may choose to wait to write your bar exams until after you finish articling.
How will placements compare with a standard law school education?
Our graduates will have 108 credit hours by the time they graduate, while other Ontario law schools mandate between 90 - 96 credit hours. While our graduates will have the skills to be lawyers, they will also have a thorough knowledge of the law.
The components built into the IPC are developed from recommendations within the Carnegie Report into Legal Education (2007) and the Articling Task Force final report by Law Society of Upper Canada (2012).
What will prevent a Practice Placement from simply being a role of admin assistant or photocopy guy?
As Practice Placements are part of the curriculum, we will have strict control over the Practice Placement locations and the expectations of both the student in the Practice Placement and the supervisor responsible for the student. As much as possible, the supervisor would work with the Practice Placement student to ensure exposure to a wide variety of tasks, situation and experiences within the supervisor's law practice.
No student will be forced into a Practice Placement they do not wish to undertake and as much as possible, students and supervisors will be best matched to ensure compatibility in both law interest and goals.
All students will agree to the terms and conditions of their Practice Placement before beginning and they will know what the Practice Placement should be like.
All Practice Placement locations will be pre-approved by the Director of Student Services and Skills and expectations of the supervisor will be discussed during the approval process. Supervisors will be in good standing with the LSUC.
Both the student and supervisor will be followed up shortly after the commencement of the Practice Placement to identify any concerns. There will be ongoing support for both sides throughout the Practice Placement and the supervisor will write the review of the Practice Placement student at the end of the term.
Practice Placements are already successfully done in many professional programs, including nursing, social work, teaching and medicine.
I'm a firm interested in a Practice Placement student. How can I get more information?
We are happy to hear from firms wanting to be a Practice Placement location for one of our students. Please see the Placements page for more information and to download our brochure. The Director of Student Services and Skills oversees the operation of the Practice Placment program and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (807) 346-7891.
I'm a student at another law school and wish to have the skills training provided by Lakehead. Can I transfer into the program?
No, as the skills are developed throughout first and second year foundational courses, we will not be accepting any transfer students from any school within (or outside of) Canada.
How is the IPC distinct from the Law Practice Program offered by Ryerson (English) and University of Ottawa (French)?
The Law Practice Program (LPP) programs offered at Ryerson (in English) and Ottawa (in French) are designed for JD graduates from any other law school. Their programs offer a four-month curriculum followed by a four-month placement. Their programs are add-ons post-graduation.
Our program is only available to our own JD students, meaning that it is not an add-on program after graduation. There will be no extra costs for our students beyond the three years of law school tuition. There will be no additional curriculum beyond what is already built into our program and the four-month Practice Placements will happen in third year, not after graduation.
Will a graduate from Lakehead's program be eligible to do their Practice Placement in another province?
At this time, all Practice Placements must take place in the province where the student will be called, in this instance Ontario.